Autodesk Announces Subscription-Only Access for Standalone Desktop Software

3 Feb, 2015 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson

Beginning in February 2016, customers who own perpetual licenses without a Maintenance Subscription will have to move to a subscription plan the next time they upgrade.

Autodesk announced this morning that beginning February 1, 2016, commercial seats of its standalone desktop software products will be available by subscription only.

Customers who own perpetual licenses of the affected products without a Maintenance Subscription will have to move to a subscription plan the next time they upgrade. Andrew Anagnost, senior vice-president, Industry Strategy & Marketing at Autodesk, says those customers can continue using their desktop standalone products as-is as long as they wish. “This won’t affect them until they need to upgrade.”

A minimum of approximately 3 million users per year are active on standalone products, Anagnost states. The ”vast majority” of Autodesk’s current customer base owns a software suite as opposed to standalone products, he explains, and therefore won’t be affected by this change. New perpetual licenses for Autodesk Design & Creation Suites will continue to be offered beyond February 1, 2016; any transition to a subscription only–based offering for suites after that time will be communicated well in advance, Autodesk reports.

Maintenance Subscription customers won’t see any change as long as their subscriptions remain active, and the company will continue to offer Cloud Services Subscriptions.

Autodesk reports that it will discontinue the sale of new perpetual licenses generally in all countries for most standalone desktop software products. That includes but is not limited to the following products:

  • 3ds Max
  • AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT
  • AutoCAD for Mac and AutoCAD LT for Mac
  • AutoCAD Architecture
  • AutoCAD Electrical
  • AutoCAD Mechanical
  • InfraWorks
  • Inventor, Inventor Professional, and Inventor LT
  • Maya and Maya LT
  • MotionBuilder
  • Mudbox
  • Navisworks Simulate and Navisworks Manage
  • Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, Revit Structure, and Revit LT

Further details of the subscription transition and how it will affect customers are outlined in two online FAQs: Perpetual Licensing Changes and Autodesk Standalone Perpetual License Discontinuation Public FAQ (PDF).

Why the Change?

Desktop Subscription gives access to Autodesk software — the same full version as with a perpetual license. It includes Basic Support, access to the latest software and product enhancements, and in some cases, access to select cloud services.  The software delivered through Desktop Subscription as well as associated user data continue to be stored on a local machine, and any use of Autodesk cloud services is optional.

Anagnost says the move to subscription-only access for standalone desktop software is a response to changes in the way customers are designing — that is, changing means of production, changing modes of consumption, and changing notions of what a product is. All the while, designers are growing increasingly reliant on cloud, mobile, and social-networking technologies to support their workflows.

These new environments require new software tools and platforms to support them, Anagnost states. “Software companies that are going to be there in the future — that partner with customers, help them meet challenges — will be cloud software providers, which means subscription service.”

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About the Author: Nancy Spurling Johnson

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Re: Autodesk Announces Subscription-Only Access for St...
by: oceng
February 11, 2015 - 4:33pm
Well, lets take a consumer look at those costs supplied by Autodesk: pay $5040 and have nothing after 3 years, or pay $5830 and have software that you can still use forever? Gee, $790 sure seems like a real deal to me. I will buy perpetual licenses for all my Autodesk software this year and never give Autodesk another cent.
Re: Autodesk Announces Subscription-Only Access for St...
by: David Lark
March 12, 2015 - 2:59pm
This is exactly what I'd expect from Autode$k. There are alternatives, and some are even free.